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age, that computation cannot be very erroneous; as may appear from what we shall observe presently.
Theognostus is mentioned by Athanasius, Philip Sidetes, Stephen Gobar, and Photius.
Athanasius has spoken of him in two of his works; in the first he quotes him against the Arians, to shew that the fathers of the Nicene council did not first begin to use the expression,
Of the substance,' it having been before used in the same subject by Theognostus; whom Athanasius here calls a learned or an eloquent man. In the other work Athanasius mentions Theognostus together with Origen: he gives Theognostus the character of an admirable man, and worthy of esteem: he speaks of them both in an admirable manner, and as ancient
In that same work he afterwards alleges a passage from Theognostus, which I intend to make use of by and by.
Stephen Gobar says that Athanasius had often mentioned Origen and Theognostus in an honourable manner: whether he means only these two places, or whether there were still some more in which Theognostus was mentioned by Athanasius, we cannot say positively.
In the Fragment of Philip Sidetes, published by Mr. Dodwell, it is said that Theognostus was president of the Christian or catechetical school at Alexandria. The order of those presidents, according to that writer, is this: Origen was the fourth: after Origen, Heraclas; after him Dionysius; after him Pierius; after Pierius, Theognostus. What regard ought to be had to Philip, I cannot certainly say; but as we are not able to disprove what he writes, so I think likewise that it is not safe to depend entirely upon him.
From Photius we learn that & Theognostus published a work called Hypotuposes, or Institutions, in seven books or discourses. The title of the work in Photius's copy was this: The • Institutions of the blessed Theognostus, an Alexandrian, and Exegetes;' which last word I find rendered by some learned men commentator and interpreter of the sacred books: but that meaning appears to me at least doubtful ; nor can I assign any other with which I am fully satisfied. Mr. Dodwell, in his notes " upon the forecited passage of Philip, says that the title of the work was borrowed from Clement, and that the title given the author denotes his public office of teaching in the school at Alexandria. Photius
says, • that ' in the first book Theognostus discourseth of the Father, and endeavours •
to prove him creator, even against those who supposed matter coeternal with God.' One may be apt to think that this part of our author's work was very curious and philosophical. After, wards Photius expresseth his dislike of the doctrine of the first six books of the Institutions in several respects, saying that the author * speaks of the Son as a creature; that he too closely followed Origen in some of his peculiarities, which may be found in his books of Principles; and that with him he supposeth angels and dæmons to have certain fine bodies. With the seventh or last book Photius appears well enough satisfied. He gives an agreeable character of this writer's style: it is, he says, full and expressive, and yet has nothing redundant: he has the Attic purity and elegance without affectation; and in the greatest plainness and perspicuity there is nothing mean and vulgar.
If we had had Photius's extract entire, we should not have been at a loss about the exact age of Theognostus; for he put down the time when he flourished: but the last words of the extract are wanting.
We may however conclude, from what we have seen, that Theognostus was an Alexandrian, and that he flourished some time after Origen, before the end of the third century.
Eusebius's silence about this writer has occasioned divers surmises and speculations. Baro
* μαθελε τοινυν, ω χριςομαχοι Αρειανοι, ότι Θεογνωςος, ανηρ See before, chap. 18. vol. i. p. 377. λογιος, και παρηγησαίο το εκ της ουσιας ειττειν. Αth. de Decret. 8 Ανεγνωσθησαν Θεωγνωςο Αλεξανδρεως λογοι επα: ων η Nic. Syn. p. 230. B.
επιγραφη, τα μακαρια Θεογνωςο Αλεξανδρεως και εξηγησε • Παλαιοι μεν εν ανδρες, Ωριγένης ο πολυμαθης και φιλοπονος, υποτυπωσεις. Phot. Cod. cv. 280. in, και Θεογνωςος ο θαυμασιος και σπεδαιος. Ιd. Ep. 4. ad "Ipsum illius operis titulum a Clemente sumptum decessore Serap. p. 702. C. Cib. p. 703. B. C. D.
constat. Et quidem locum illum scholæ catecheticæ magistra1 'Οτι Ωριγενην και Θεογνωςον ό, τε μεγας Αθανασιος και lem denotat, docendique munus publicum vox illa ryytys. Αλεξανδρειας εν πολλοις απέδεχείο λογοις. ap. Piot. Cod. 232, Dodwell. ut supr. p. 512. P. 904.
εν μεν Bν τω πριωτω λογω διαλαμβανει περι τα πατρος, τεταρτος προεσε της Χριστιανικης διαίριξης Ωριγενης: Μετα και ότι εςι δημιεργος, επιχειρων δεικνυναι, και κατα των υπολιΩριγενην-μετα Πιεριoν Θεογνωςος. Fragm. Ph, Sid. ap. θενlων συναϊδιον όλην τω Θεω. Phot. ib. p. 280. in. Dodw. Diss. Iren. p. 488.
και υίον δε λογων, κλισμα αυτον αποφαινεί. ib. VOL. II.
nius * cannot help thinking it happened, not without a malicious and fraudulent design, to bury in oblivion, the name and writings of a strenuous assertor of the consubstantial doctrine: Hueto is almost of the same mind, and suspects that these Institutions had been interpolated by the Arians in the space of time between Athanasius and Photius: but · Tillemont is not convinced by their reasonings. Indeed, he who carefully compares Athanasius and Photius will perceive that they both read exactly one and the same work; and that the Institutions were as uncorrupted in the time of the latter, as of the former. Athanasius found in them somewhat to his purpose; but there were other things he did not like. He " says that, in what he alleges out of the second book of the Institutions, Theognostus speaks his own sentiments; but there were other things proposed only in the way of argument and disputations. In like manner, Photius is not positive that the things he condemns were the real sentiments of the author of the Institutions; at least he is aware of this apology for him: but he disallows it, and says such things ought not to be published to the world in writing at any rate: Mr. Dodwell' ascribes Eusebius's silence to nothing but negligence, and supposeth him less accurate in matters near his own time than elsewhere. Certainly Eusebius did not know every thing; nor had he a fair opportunity, or sufficient leisure, ito bring every thing he knew into his writings. It must be reckoned very probable that Jerom was unacquainted with this writer's works, though they have been so expressly cited by Athanasius.
There is yet another way of accounting for the seeming inconsistence between the commendations Theognostus had received from Athanasius, and the censure passed on him by Photius: it is that taken by Du Pin, who supposeth that in several ages there have been differences of ex-. pression about the same doctrine: he therefore says that Photius is to blame for accusing Theognostus of error upon the divinity of the Son, purely because of some ways of speaking that did not entirely agree with those of his own age; not considering that, though the ancients have expressed themselves differently the doctrine was always the same at the bottom; and that it would be unjust to expect of them that they should speak as exactly, and with as much precaution, as they who came after the rise and condemnation of heresies.
As the Institutions of Theognostus have been so little taken notice of by the several sects of Christians in past ages, it may be thought that this work of our author was not necessary; however, it might be useful: and the curious and judicious, I believe, would read it with satisfaction and improvement if it were now in being.
II. We are obliged to Athanasius for the passages he has cited: I am now to observe one of them. Athanasius is treating of the sin against the Holy Ghost: he first quotes Origen and then Theognostus; he informs us, that " Theognostus, in confirmation of what had been before asserted by him, alleges those words of our Saviour spoken to the disciples: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now: howbeit, when the Holy Ghost is come • he will teach you:” John xvi. 12, 13. Then he adds: as our Saviour speaks to such as are not
yet able to receive those things that are perfect, he condescends to their weakness; but the Spirit • is given to those that are perfect. No man therefore ought to say, that the teaching of the Spirit • excels the doctrine of the Son: but whereas the Son condescends to the imperfect, the Spirit is • the seal of those who are perfected. Wherefore it is not because of any superior excellence of • the Spirit above the Son, that the blasphemy against the Spirit is inexpiable and unpardonable;
· Et, ut omittamus de aliis dicere, nonne dolo malo Theog- και ο μεν εν Θεογνωςος τα προτερα ως εν γυμνασια εξετασας, nosti, theologorum celeberrimi, nomen atque scripta silentio vsepov ony ÉAUTO'Soçav Tibens, OUTWS Espnxey. 'Ath. de Decret. obyoluta reliquit, quod consubstantialis nominis esset assertor? Nic. Syn. p. 230. C. At is non præteriit Athanasium.. Baron. Ann. 109. lix.
• ειτε (ως αν τις ειποι) εκβιασαμενος την υπερ αυ7α απολογίαν, Sane studiosissimum virum, et disertum, et admirandum εν γυμνασιας λογω και 8 δοξης ταυτα προτιθεις-εγγραφο eum appellat Athanasius : atque idcirco prætermissam ab Eu- δε λογα και κοινά προκεισθαι μελλοντος νομε τους πασιν, ει τις sebio mentionem illius probabile est, quod ab Arianis partibus της εν αυτω βλασφημίας την προειρημενην εις αθωωσιν επιφερει fuerit alienus. Quapropter corruptas ejus Hypotyposes ab απολογιαν, εις ασθενη κατεδραμε συνηγοριαν. Phot. ib. p. 280. hujus sectæ patronis, quemadmodum et Clementis librum -quamquam ejus nullus meminit Eusebius, in rebus eodem titulo inscriptum, non immerito Andreas Schottus con- sui temporis minus profecto, quam in reliquis, accuratus. jectat. Huet. Origen. lib. i. sect. i. num. 3.
6 Du Pin. ib. p. 192. 'c Néanmoins S. Athanase marque assez, que dès son temps h Ath. Ep. 4, ad Serap. p. 03. B. C. il y avoit des choses difficiles dans cet auteur sur la divinité de και τοις δε τελειεμενους συγγενέθαι το πνευμα το άγιον, και *Jésus-Christ
. Mais il dit, que ce n'étoit que comme pour 88T8 TIS EX Telwr ar bain TTV T8 avevpalos diddoxaluaz discuter la verité, et qu'il exprimoit ensuite son vrai sentiment. RESSAMMELY TNS T8 vis didaxys. ibid. C. Tillem. ib. 269.
but because, by those who are imperfect, pardon may be obtained : for those “ who have • tasted of the heavenly gift,” (Hebr. vi. 4.) and have been made perfect, there remains no . excuse, or any means of escape.'
From that expression, tasting the heavenly gift,' I would infer that our author received the epistle to the Hebrews. This may be further argued from what precedes in Athanasius : for, proceeding to the testimonies of Origen and Theognostus concerning the subject he was upon, he thus expresseth himself: • They • both write of this matter, saying that this is the blasphemy
against the Holy Ghost ; when they who have been favoured with the gift of the Holy Ghost • in baptism return to sin : therefore, say they, such receive no remission, according to what • Paul also says in the epistle to the Hebrews : “ For it is impossible for those who were once
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, • and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they fall • away, to renew them again unto repentance: ” ch. vi. 4, 5, 6. This they both say.' Then he alleges their passages in order.
And this recompense then we have of the labour of our inquiry into the life and writings of Theognostus ; that we have found another learned Alexandrian, of the third century, who received the epistle to the Hebrews.
THEONAS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA.
I. His history. II. An epistle ascribed to him. III. His testimony to the books of the New
1. Theonas, as · Jerom says in his Chronicle, was the fifteenth bishop of Alexandria. He held that see, as we are informed by 'Eusebius, nineteen years; who in the same place speaks of Pierius and Achillas, as flourishing among the presbyters in that episcopate, and observes the succession of the bishops of Alexandria about that time : after Dionysius was Maximus; then Theonas, about the year of Christ 282, who was succeeded by Peter, of whom we shall write hereafter.
II. There is extant a 5 letter from Theonas to Lucian, chief chamberlain to the emperor, which emperor was not a Christian. But learned men are not fully satisfied who this Theonas is: the editor makes a scruple of i ascribing it to the bishop of Alexandria; though he thinks it ought to be received as a genuine monument of antiquity, composed in the beginning of the fourth century: and indeed, according to the tenor of the epistle itself, Christianity was not yet fully established; though it had made great progress in the world, even under persecutions.
Cave allows that' Theonas, author of this letter, was a bishop; but whether of Alexandria, or some other place, he cannot determine : the letter he thinks m to have been written about the year 305 ; but he delivers this opinion as conjectural only upon a point that cannot be clearly decided.
* Επι δε τοις γευσαμενους της ερανι8 [al. επερανια] δωρεας, Nam quanto magis princeps ipse nondum Christianæ reκαι τελειωθεισιν, κ. λ. ibid. + b. . 702. C. D. ligioni adscriptus. ib. p. 546.
• Ταυλα δε κοινη μεν λεγεσι, και ιδιαν δε έκαςος προςιθησι i Vid. Præf. p. 21, 22. diaxolay. ib. E.
k Gratias ago Omnipotenti Deo, et Domino nostro Jesu See before of Origen, Vol. i. ch. xxxviii. num. x. and Christo, qui fidem suam per universum orbem in salutis nosDionysius of Alexandria, Ibid. p. 633.
trae unicum remedium manifestare, ac etiam in tyrannorum Alexandrinæ ecclesiæ quintusdecimus episcopus præfuit persecutionibus ampliare, non destitit, &c. Theon. ib. p. 545. Theonas ann. xix. Hieron. Chr. p. 177. f.
Theonas — dignitate episcopus : cujusnam vero loci, "H. E. 1. 7. c. 32. p. 289. C. D.
haud facile est divinare. H. L. T. i. p. 172. & Theonas episcopus Luciano Præposito Cubiculariorum i Ætatem si quæras, circa annum 305-claruisse arbitror, invictissimi principis nostri. Theon. ap. Luc. Acher. Spic. nempe sub Constantio Chloro, qui Cæsar creatus est anno 292. T. xii. p. 545. Sed quia, ut sentio, diversis officiis estis 'ad- -Augustus renuntiatus est ann. 305; obiit-an. 306. Cay, ib. scripti, et omnium tu, Luciane, præpositus diceris. Id. ib.p.547.
Tillemont is much disposed to think it a genuine epistle of Theonas, bishop of Alexandria, written about the year 290. Lucian he supposeth to have been chief chamberlain to the emperor Dioclesian, and a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.
I am inclined to assent to Tillemont concerning the author of the epistle and the time of writing it.
The letter was undoubtedly written in Greek; we have only a translation in but indifferent Latin.
III. As the several learned critics above quoted admit the antiquity of this piece, I shali observe the author's testimony to the scriptures.
The author often delivers his Christian counsels to Lucian, and by him to other Christians in the imperial palace, in words of the New Testament, or in expressions allusive to them: but without quoting any particular books, which might not be judged proper in an epistle.
He mentions the gospel and apostle, as the divine oracles of Christians.
He d recommends the daily reading of the sacred scriptures, and meditating upon them, as the best means of improving the mind
in every virtue, and as the most useful helps for enabling Lucian, and the other Christians with him, to discharge their several offices with reputation, as became the followers of Jesus Christ.
PIERIUS, PRESBYTER OF ALEXANDRIA.
PIEŘIUS, says · Jeroni in his Catalogue of Ecclesiastical writers
, presbyter of the church of Alexandria, taught the people with great reputation in the time of the emperors Carus and • Dioclesian, when Theonas was bishop of that church: such was the elegance of his discourses ' and treatises, which are still extant, that he was called the younger Origen. It is certain that • he was a great ascetic, and an admirer of voluntary poverty, and that he was well skilled in • logic and rhetoric, and that after the persecution he spent the rest of his days at Rome. There • is a very prolix homily of his upon the prophet Hosea, which was pronounced on Easter-eve, as the discourse itself shews.' That is St. Jerom's summary account of this writer.
Carus reigned in 282 and 283. Dioclesian reigned from 284 to 305. ! And,' as Eusebius." informs us, Maximus, immediate successor of Dionysius, governed the church of Alexandria
eighteen years, and was then succeeded by Theonas : under him Achillas, made presbyter at • the same time with Pierius, was famous. He was intrusted with the care of the catechetical
school, and was an excellent example of a truly philosophical and Christian conversation. • Theonas, having borne the episcopal office nineteen years, was succeeded by Peter, who obtained 'great honour during his episcopate, which he held twelve years. He governed the church three * years before the persecution : the rest of his time he passed in a more strict and mortified course of life, but still without neglecting the common good of the churches; for which reason, « in the ninth year of the persecution, he was honoured with the crown of martyrdom, being • beheaded.' So writes Eusebius.
à La lettre de l'évêque Théonas à Lucien--est selon toutes e Pierius, Alexandrinæ ecclesiæ presbyter, sub Caro et Dioles apparences un fruit de la piété de notre saint. Lucien cletiano principibus, eo tempore quo eam ecclesiam Theonas étoit le chef des chambellans de l'empereur Dioclétien, et un episcopus regebat, florentissime docuit populos; et in tantam fidèle serviteur de J. Ch. Tillem. Saint Theonas. M. E. T, iv. sermonis diversorumque tractatuum, qui usque hodie exstant, P. 3. p. 1218. b Id. ib. p. 1223.
venit elegantiam, ut Origenes junior vocaretur. Constat hunc · Interdum et divinas scripturas laudare conabitur, quas miræ acxyoews, et appetitorem voluntariæ paupertatis, scienmirà diligentiâ et largissimo impendio Ptolomæus Philadelphus tissimumque dialecticæ et rhetoricæ artis, et post persecutioin linguam nostram traduci curavit : laudabitur et interim nem omne vitæ suæ tempus Romæ fuisse versatum. Hujus. evangelium apostolusque, pro divinis oraculis. Theon. ib. 548. est longissimus traetatus de prophetâ Osee, quem in vigilia
d Non prætereat dies, quin, opportuno tempore dato, ali- Pascha babitum, ipse sermo demonstrat. Hieron. De V. I. quid sacrarum lectionum legatis, aliquid contemplemini, nec sacræ scripturæ literaturam abjiciatis. Nihil adeo animam * Και επ' Αλεξανδρειας δε Μαξιμον οκίωκαιδεκα ελεσι μελα pascit, et mentem impinguat, sicut sacræ faciunt lectiones. την Διονυσια τελευτην επισκοπευσαντα, Θεωνας διαδεχεται καθ' Sed ex illis hunc maxime capite fructum, ut patientiâ vestra ον επι της Αλεξανδρειας επι ταυλον τω Πιερια πρεσβυθερια ηξιωjuste et pie, hoc est, in caritate Christi, vestrâ officia exsequa- μενος Αχιλλας είναωριζελο, της ιερας πιςεως το διδασκαλείον mini, et transitoria omnia ob ejus promissiones æternas con- ETXExeipiouevos. Euseb. H. E. 1. vii. c. 32. p. 289, 290. temnatis, ib. p. 550.
Maximus therefore, having succeeded Dionysius in 264 or 265, was himself suteceeded by Theonas, in 282; he by Peter in 300, who died a martyr in the year 311 or 312, as is computed. Achillas, just mentioned by Eusebius as catechist, was bishop of Alexandria after Peter; but for a short time only, as it seems : indeed, since Achillas was ordained presbyter about the same time with Pierius, and had the care of the school under Theonas, it may be argued that he must have been somewhat advanced in years in 311, when he came to be bishop: he was succeeded by Alexander in 312 or 313. I have here put down these several successions 'at Alexandria ; I believe it will not be disagreeable to my readers.
Farther, Eusebius, speaking of the most eminent men of his own time, or near it, says, One • of these was Pierius, presbyter at Alexandria, celebrated for his strict course of life and philo* sophical learning: he was likewise admired for his diligence in the study of the scriptures, and • his expositions of them, and his public discourses to the people.'
In Jerom's letter to Magnus, Pierius is placed among other learned Christian writers next after 'Pamphilus.
In another place he mentions Pierius's a interpretation of 1 Cor. vii. 7; and reckons him among several others, who, as he says, had largely explained that epistle. Cave o understands Jerom to mean some commentary; but I do not think it necessary to take him in that sense: several of the writers there mentioned may have largely explained that text in their homilies, or letters, or treatises, without making a commentary upon the epistle.
In his prologue to his Commentary upon Hosea, Jerom again mentions the long discourse of our author upon that prophet, which he spoke of in his Catalogue: he calls it an extemporary and eloquent discourse.
It has been observed by several learned men of late times that there were copies of the bible, or however of some parts of it, called Pierius's, which were in great esteem : that observation is founded upon a passage of St. Jerom in his commentary upon Matt. xxiv. 36; “ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, but my Father only:" Jerom says, • that in some Latin copies of his time was added, “nor the Son;" whereas in the Greek copies, particularly the copies of Qrigen and Pierius, that clause was wanting.'
These things concerning Pierius I have collected from Eusebius and Jerom, authors of the best credit. Philip Sidetes says, that Pierius was catechist at Alexandria after Dionysius: • the next after him,' he says, was Theognostus, then Serapion, then the great Peter, who suf• fered martyrdom.And Photius informs us that * in his time it was said that Pierius was president of the school of that city: accordingly it is now generally taken for granted, by learned men, that he had some while that charge; but I think without good foundation, since it is no where mentioned by Eusebius or Jerom: and why they should omit this, when they so particularly mention his fame for popular discourses, I cannot tell. Eusebius mentions Pierius and Achillas together : he expressly says of this last that he was catechist: why did he not say the like of Pierius, if true ? Philip says that Pierius was catechist after Dionysius. When did he succeed his predecessor in that chair-when he was made bishop, or after his death ? Dionysius. was chosen bishop in 247, or 248, and died in the year 264 or 265. At which of those seasons did Pierius take upon him the catechetical office? Is either of them consistent with what Jerom says of Pierius, that he flourished under Carus and Dioclesian, and survived the persecution? a Vid. Euseb. Chron. p. 180. Socrat. I. i. cap. 5.
porali et diserto sermone profudit. Hieron. Pr. in Osee. p. 1235. Αχιλλας μεν ολισον χρονον προυση, και τα της εκλλησιας 6 Origenis ejusdem, Adamantii a flagrantibus studiis cognoκατεχε πηδαλια. μεία δε τελον Αλέξανδρος, κ. λ. Theodoret. minati, ut etiam Pierii, doctoris Alexandrini, exemplaria quoH. E. 1. i. c. 2. c Euseb. ib. p. 289. A.
que Novi Testamenti in magno pretio habebantur, tamquam * Origenes, Dionysius, Pierius, Eusebius Cæsariensis
, Didy- omnium purissima. Eorum mentionem reperio apud Hieromus, Apollinaris, latissime hanc epistolam interpretati sunt; nymum ad Matth. xxiv. Hody de Bibl. Text. 1. iv. c. 2.. quorum Pierius, quum sensum apostoli ventilaret atque edis- p.622. Conf. Mill. ad Matth, loc. et in Prolegam. n. dccxxvii. seret, et proposuisset illud exponere, Volo autem omnes esse h In quibusdam Latinis codicibus additum est, neque filius. sicut meipsum, adjecit : Taula Nelwy IIaunos aulixpus alausay quum in Græcis, et maxime Adamantu et Pierii exemplariKapuatel. Hieron. Ep. 31. [al. 52.] p. 243.
bus, hoc non habeatur adscriptum. Sed quia in ponnullisi e Scripsisse commentarios in primam ad Corinthios episto- legitur, disserendum videtur. Hieron. in Matth. p. 118. lam autor est Hieronymus. Cav. H. L. in Pierio.
1 Μεία τετον Πιεριας, μετα Πιέριον Θεοίνωσος: κ. λ. Philip» Pierii quoque legi tractatum longissimum, quem in exor- Sid.
k Vid. Phot. Cod. 118, 119. dio hujus prophetæ die vigiliarum Dominicæ passionis extena